Camp: a place to get away from the comforts of home and technology, take a walk, participate in fun, challenging activities and brace yourself for the elements of the outdoors. For those of you who have only heard of and been to the Coachellas, Lollapaloozas, EDCs, Bumbershoots, South by Southwests, I guarantee you haven’t had an experience like the one you’ll get at Camp Flog Gnaw.
Story | Jasmine Sabagquit
My first day at Camp was in 2013, in only it’s second year of existence. I had no idea what to expect, but what I did know was that I would be entering one of the greatest music experiences to ever exist. The carnival games and rides put the typical music festival games like jumbo Jenga and beanbag toss to shame.
There was one stage shared by Tyler, the Creator, Mac Miller, Frank Ocean and others, plus a surprise appearance by Kanye West. I knew Tyler had something special in motion. As he does with his music, he took what he envisioned in his mind and created a vibrant, quirky, imaginative world, and brought it to life.
Fast forward to 2016, Camp Flog Gnaw became a two-day event for the first time since its opening, and Los Angeles’ Exposition Park got a double dose of Tyler’s colorful mind and the fan base that has loyally supported him through it all.
From Inglewood’s famous Randy’s Donuts, to visuals of flowers, mushrooms, skunks and snakes, camp tents, Ferris wheels and carnival rides, you knew you were in another world. This year the crowds were as excited and hyped as ever, following along to their favorite tracks, jumping and dancing, even moshing a few couple times. (Thank you Schoolboy Q for opening up three different mosh pits, which I never thought I would ever be a bit a part of, but thoroughly enjoyed despite my initial fears.)
The musical acts ranged from: Yuna, Gallant, The Internet, Kaytranada, Kehlani, DJ Mustard, Earl Sweatshirt, Anderson .Paak, ScHoolboy Q, Erykah Badu, A$AP Rocky, Chance the Rapper and more. Guest appearances included: Chris Brown, G-Eazy, YG and Mac Miller.
And to go from a few thousand in the first couple years, and to reach 40,000 attendees this past weekend, it is safe to say that Camp Flog Gnaw has officially gained the title to enter full-fledged music festival status, and that more and more people want to see just what the Camp is all about.
Amidst all the fun and games, it should be noted that one of the most positive experiences to take home from this year’s Camp is this: the immense amount of unity shared throughout the weekend.
Many of the festival artists presented visuals of strength and togetherness, and shared words of positivity and strength, inspiring the crowd of many ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. Behind the laughs and smiles, there is negativity and disappointment that exists in our country today, and to be able to be a part of that environment this weekend, showed proof that behind the propaganda, and the opinions of corporate America and the 1 percent, they cannot bring down the hopes and spirit of the people. I haven’t seen Hip Hop culture and music unite the masses on a mainstream level, since the early days of Hip Hop, and in a festival scene since Rock the Bells.
So thank you Tyler, the Creator and Camp Flog Gnaw, for an unforgettable weekend on many levels. Until next year!